Looking back on the viral scams of recent years, Fyre Festival might be the one we’ve gotten the most cultural mileage out of—not only did we watch the house of cards fall apart in real-time on the internet, but then there were the dueling Netflix and Hulu documentaries on the incident, which in turn spawned even more memes. And now, it seems, the saga has (finally) come to an end. (Or so I hope.)
On Tuesday, nearly four years after the influencer-promoted “music festival” went terribly (and amusingly) wrong, festival organizers and 277 ticket holders reached a $2 million class-action settlement. That comes out to approximately $7,220 for each of the Fyre Festival ticket holders, some of whom likely paid up to $12,000 for their initial ticket. However, that $2 million is still awaiting final approval, which will presumably come during a May 13th hearing. The payout could potentially be lower depending on the outcome of the festival’s other bankruptcy case.
Since the not-really-a-festival exploded in their faces, Fyre Festival organizer Billy McFarland and festival co-founder Ja Rule have faced a number of lawsuits against their company, Fyre Media—including one where two festival attendees were awarded $5 million for their hotels and flights, as well as mental anguish, pain, and suffering. Ja Rule was actually absolved of his role in the debacle by a judge and claims that he didn’t know that the festival would be, well, a debacle. McFarland is currently serving a six-year prison sentence after being convicted of fraud in 2018.
“[Billy McFarland] went to jail, ticket holders can get some money back, and some very entertaining documentaries were made,” Ben Meiselas, the lead lawyer representing the ticket holders wrote in an email to the New York Times. “Now that’s justice.”
I don’t know about all that, but it’s certainly nice to know that Fyre Festival is behind us. Even if it did take four whole years.